City’s water supplies hit crisis levels
URGENT: No new source in sight
DUBLIN residents could be facing a severe water shortage after it emerged the city’s water resources are close to breaking point.
The capital’s usage is now running at more than 96pc capacity, the city council has warned.
However, it revealed that fast-tracking a new water source for Dublin is “not an option”.
Development of a new source is at least five to 10 years away – even though the capital is consuming nearly every drop of water it is producing.
The recent water shortages caused by the big freeze have prompted calls for urgent improvements to the supply.
But city engineer Michael Philips said it all depended on the Government’s three-year water investment programme, due to be announced in the next two weeks.
At the moment, Dublin is using almost all of its capacity on a daily basis, compared to just 50pc in cities such as Paris.
“We don’t know what we can and can’t do until the water investment programme comes in,” Mr Philips said.
“That will tell us what schemes can be approved and where we can spend the money. There is no spare capacity in our treatment works.”
The Dublin Region Water Supply Project, covering seven local authorities has concluded public consultation on its options for a new source — including drawing water from the Shannon or Irish Sea.
The project is spearheaded by Dublin City Council, but covers other local authorities as well.
“Fast-tracking that is not really an option. A project like that is very sensitive to a lot of people and it’s better to follow all the procedures,” said Mr Phillips.
South Dublin County Councillor William Lavelle (FG) wants local authorities in the region to “urgently expedite the Dublin Region Water Supply Project”.
“This is one of the most critical threats facing the Dublin region and we must act on it immediately.
“The figures are absolutely frightening.”
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Councillor Barry Ward (FG) said the emphasis should be water conservation.
by Andrew Phelan
Friday April 09 2010